Game Preview: Short-Handed Vikings Visit Falcons


The Vikings haven’t been very good this year even at full-strength, and today against the Falcons they will be at nowhere near full-strength. Adrian Peterson has already officially been ruled out with a high ankle sprain, and Kyle Rudolph will likely be inactive as well with a quad injury. Visanthe Shiancoe and Percy Harvin are also banged up but will likely give it a go. Christian Ponder – who made it onto the injury report himself this week with a bad knee – will have to make some big-time magic to produce offense with so many of his weapons either missing or playing hurt.

The defense is in slightly better shape. Husain Abdullah is out with a concussion, and Chris Cook remains away from the team as he deals with his assault charges. Christian Ballard, Erin Henderson and Jamarca Sanford are dinged but will play. I’ll be curious to see how much playing time Ballard and fellow rookie Mistral Raymond receive today. Ballard has played well two weeks in a row and Raymond made an impression last week against Oakland, coming a step from obliterating Carson Palmer on one blitz. With the season in the toilet and AD on the shelf, curiosity over the young guys is about the only good reason to continue watching. That and Jared Allen’s pursuit of the sack record.

Speaking of Jared Allen…the Vikings’ sole consistent defensive playmaker was held sackless last week by Oakland. Did I say “sackless?” I meant he was held without a sack. That doesn’t sound very good either. There’s pretty much no way of talking about sacks without sounding slightly dirty. Let’s just say Jared didn’t get as much penetration last week as he normally does. Wait…

To quote Lee Corso, “Ah bleep it.” That’s what I want to say about the whole Vikings season and this preview, but I feel obligated to soldier on. What can we say about the defense? They rose up like warriors in the second half against Oakland, especially Kevin Williams aka The Silent Assassin. Okay let’s drive this post completely into the gutter. Am I the only one who thinks of farts when someone says “The Silent Assassin?” So Kevin Williams isn’t the kind of guy I want to sit next to on a bus. Got it.

Actually, there is one other pretty good reason to watch today’s game: the Falcons offense. If you want to know what the Vikings offense might be in a couple of years, watch the way Atlanta does business. Bill Musgrave is basically trying to run what the Falcons run. The difference of course is, the Falcons have good receivers, a decent line and a quarterback who has a few years of experience. Maybe in 2013 the Vikes will have a Roddy White on their roster and Christian Ponder will be a reasonable facsimile of Matt Ryan. Or maybe Bill Musgrave and Leslie Frazier will be gone and the Vikes will be running a totally different system with different players. In their new stadium in Los Angeles. With the stands full of zombie because of a virus that eats away people’s cerebrums. But wait, then there wouldn’t be any football at all would there? Except zombie football. Which would be boring except for the ripping-off-limbs part.

I apologize to those of you who came here looking for a serious game preview. I was going to write one and then I got really bored and decided to start rambling. So how was your Thanksgiving? I ate a lot of turkey and slept quite a bit. Say, how about those Gophers? Man Illinois totally laid down like dogs. Oh, here’s something we can talk about: Ndamukong Suh. How much of a punk is that guy? Even Brian Robison thinks he has no class. Yeah I guess a groin kick is technically worse than an arm stomp but at least after the groin kick Robison didn’t have to be persuaded to apologize by a bunch of PR wankers. Suh needs to be suspended for at least two games.

Well I see I’ve gotten close to 700 words. That should be sufficient. Enjoy the game fellow sufferers.

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